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Homemade Survival Gear And DIY Projects

The world is a dangerous place. We live in an era of natural disasters, terrorism, and economic instability.  It can seem like the worst is yet to come. But it’s not!  As long as you prepare for it and learn how to survive when all hell breaks loose.  The key, learning basic survival skills that will keep you alive until help arrives. Here are some DIY projects for making gear so that you’re ready no matter what life throws at you!

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Hand Warmers

It doesn’t matter whether you have to spend a night in the woods or your car breaks down on a cold winter day. Either way, this DIY will keep you from freezing to death while you wait for help! All you need is a couple of ingredients from your house to make these. What you need to make these hand warmers:

    • Two parts hydrogen peroxide
    • One part all-purpose flour
    • Old socks 

Mix the hydrogen peroxide and flour in a mason jar. Then add a few spoonfuls of water and seal the lid tightly. Shake it up until you have a thick paste. Break off chunks and stuff them into small pieces of cotton fabric or sock scraps to make the hand warmers.  Make about three or four, then seal each one with another layer of cloth by stitching the edges shut.

Finally, place them on your fireplace or outdoor campfire heat source for 10 to 15 minutes while they heat up! As long as you remember to pack these along on your next trip, you won’t be left huddled in your tent, shivering through the night.

Knife Handle

Most knives come with plastic or rubber handles, but it’s significantly easier to grip if you make your own out of wood. So what do you need to make a better quality knife handle that can withstand emergencies?

    • Rubber gloves (optional)
    • Scrap piece of wood
    • Fine-grain sandpaper (at least 220 grit)
    • Wood stain (if desired)

To start this project, first drill a hole into the center of the scrap wood just large enough for your knife blade to fit snugly. Make sure there are no cracks or splinters around the hole before placing your blade inside. If you’re using rubber gloves to protect yourself from splinters, be careful not to poke through them with the drill bit!

Now that you have a secure place to mount your knife blade, place the base of the handle into a vise or clamp it down to something stable. Use a piece of fine-grain sandpaper wrapped around a dowel as a makeshift rasp to shape the inside and outside curves of the handle until they’re smooth enough not to cut you when you grip it. Once your handle is shaped, wipe off the sawdust from both pieces with a damp cloth. Then, coat them with wood stain if you would like.

Arrowheads and Knife Blades

This is an excellent project for the beginner, and it’s always cool to be able to say that you made your own knives. 

All you need is a hard sharp-edged rock or two for this project. You can use any type of harder-edged rock as an arrowhead as long as it’s not too heavy to throw. If it’s too heavy, you’ll tire yourself out before having the chance to put your newly learned skills into practice!

First, trace around your knife blade onto the stone where you would like to make your cut. Then use a smaller, harder stone as a hammer and pound the blade into the stone until you form an indentation that fits it perfectly. Remove the blade and re-trace around it onto your stone surface. Once you have cut out enough of the rock away so that it easily slides in, remove any sharp edges with sandpaper or a smooth rock. Now all you need is some feathers and twine for your bow and arrow!

You can attach feathers by using glue to coat them and then sliding them under the line where you cut out your arrowhead shape from the rock.  Next, drill two holes on either side of your knife handle for attaching string, then thread twine through each one to make a sturdy loop.


You can easily fashion your own DIY stove out of soda cans by following this simple tutorial. Here are the supplies you will need.

    • Three 12 oz aluminum cans
    • Heavy-duty scissors or tin snips (tin snips are better, so the cuts are clean)
    • Can opener
    • Hammer and nails
    • Ice Pick

Start by cutting three circles out of the first aluminum can using your tin snips or scissors, then punch two holes on either end of each disc with an ice pick or other sharp object. Use your hammer and nails to attach both ends like a hobo stove over top of one another to make an upside-down pyramid shape. Repeat this step for all three discs until you have three sections that look like little tents.

To use as a culinary gauge, punch two holes in the top of your stacked aluminum discs and thread an oven thermometer through each one. Use your can opener to poke three small ventilation holes into the bottom portion of all three stove pieces before you stack them back together and attach them with nails around the outside.

Make sure to leave one of the holes open so you can light a small fire inside and start cooking!

Fire Starters

If you’re in a real pinch, pull out some magic powder, AKA magnesium!

You can make your own magnesium fire starter like the pros do with the essential survival skill of having magnesium on hand. All you need is:

    • Fine-grain sandpaper (or sharp rocks, if you’re desperate)
    • Water
    • Magnesium

After scraping your pile of “magic powder” onto some paper or dry leaves, use your knife to cut small strips about half an inch wide by two inches long that will fit inside both ends of your empty match case. Then deposit small amounts onto the paper.  Once you thoroughly douse the paper in magnesium, roll it up into a tight cylinder so that the ends of your fire starter will meet. Use your knife to slice off any excess paper by cutting both ends at an angle.

Next, place the first strip inside one of the ends of your match case, followed by tinder and a second strip. Fold all four sides and seal it shut with lighter or strike-anywhere matches before lighting! This little tool will make a huge difference when you’re trying to start a fire in cold weather or windy conditions – especially if you use petroleum jelly on the outside for an extra boost of heat!


Luckily, there are plenty of survival projects that you can do around your home to increase your chances of being prepared for the wild. Surviving in the wilderness might require a lot more skill than crafting up these DIYs, but at least you’ll be ready if it ever comes down to it!  There are lots of different ways you can make your own gear, but these are some of the best that will prepare you for pretty much any situation. With any luck, you’ll never have to use these things for real!